Why Jesse Eisenberg’s Luthor is a great fit for ‘Suicide Squad’

“Suicide Squad” may be the smartest title on the entire slate of DC Comic movies announced recently by Warner Bros. With David Ayer onboard to direct, this is the story of how some of the nastiest bad guys in the DC Universe are pressed into service to do something for the government. It can play rougher than other DC movies and it would seem appropriate.

One of the key characters in any “Suicide Squad” movie should be Harley Quinn, the Joker's psychotic girlfriend, but I'm not sure if they're including her or not. Just because there is a rumor that Margot Robbie is being courted to star in the film, that doesn't mean they're using Quinn. I'd love to see Robbie play her, I think. That sounds terrifying. And sort of awesome. She could also easily be Amanda Waller, the doctor who puts the team together. But that's assuming she's even in talks with the studio, which I wouldn't bet on based on the way things were worded at the DC stockholder's meeting.

So until now, there's been no substantive report on which characters we might see in the film. Today, Michael Fleming is reporting that there's a push to use Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in the film following the character's introduction in “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice.”

Eisenberg can be a great fun piece in an ensemble, like in “Zombieland” or “Now You See Me,” and there are very few people working right now who can make “superior jerk” seem to darn appealing. Eisenberg is justifiably very busy right now, with a “Now You See Me” sequel coming up and with “American Ultra” hitting theaters in 2015, and I'm glad to see it. I remember when I was trying to fund a film just a decade ago, and I was already a fan thanks to his amazing performance in “Roger Dodger,” and I couldn't get anyone to take me seriously when I would bring him up. Eisenberg seems to be getting better as he gets older, more in control of his wicked sense of humor.

I wouldn't count on either Will Smith or Tom Hardy, the other two names rumored to be circling the film. Those guys are on every single wish list the studio puts together, and that doesn't mean either of them are anywhere near ready to say yes to whatever parts they're being offered.

I'm really curious to see what the character line-up of the bigscreen “Suicide Squad” will be. Deadshot seems to be a pretty safe guess, while I'd love to see if DC is going to get weird enough to include King Shark, who is literally a huge muscular man-shark creature. I would be flat-out amazed to see a movie that feels like “Sabotage,” the gritty ensemble action movie Ayer released this spring, featuring giant mutant super-villains. We haven't seen that movie yet, and if Ayer can put together a cast worth standing side-by-side with Eisenberg as Luthor, then this one could be a project that justifies some serious anticipation.

“Suicide Squad” is set for theaters in 2016.